So, we have an experiment running in our house at the moment.
We are just starting to try this out. We know we have a long way to go. But, we are learning, and that is the important part to us.
We are venturing into the hydroponics and aquaponics realms.
The first thing we did was: find an old aerogarden set-up at the thrift store. Then, we found a five-gallon aquarium with no lid at a different thrift store.
Months and months later…we set up the aquarium and we set up the aerogarden. We ordered baskets and medium. We found styrofoam to cut up (for the aquarium, to support the plants on top of the water).
We went to our favorite local hardware store and found out they have a truly sucky selection of garden veg and herb, but we bought what they had: tri-color sage, peppermint, rosemary, and large leaf basil.
We bought two pots of each, thinking to divide each pot into smaller plantings.
We planted some of each type of plant in baskets and set them in the aquarium.
We planted some of each type of plant in baskets and set them in the aerogarden.
We planted some of each type of plant in potting soil and set them up close to the aerogarden so they could reap the benefit of the extra light.
After one week, we learned…large leaf basil is a picky little thing. Most of them, except in the potting soil, were either dead, dying or considering it.
Mint grows anywhere, under any darn condition. The roots of the mint took off in the aquarium (where we can look ever single day without messing with anything) the day after we settled them into their new place. In the aerogarden, within that first five days, lots of brand new baby leaves appeared.
In the soil…the mint proved to be the strongest, fastest and healthiest as well.
The tri-color sage looks a little sad and droopy in the aquarium but is nowhere near death at all.
Now, as we are planning to put fish (green and yellow and purple, according to my youngest) into the aquarium, the only fertilizer I am putting in there is a 100% kelp mix. In the areogarden, I am not hampered by such restrictions. I put in a weak solution of fertilizer and of rooting solution.
The plants in the soil got weak solutions of fertilizer. That’s it.
We did lose one basil, but someone kept messing with it. Not that I think that it would have been totally ok if no one had messed with it. The messing just hastened on the inevitable, but still…I feel we need to give everyone a bit to adjust and to find their legs (so to speak) for a bit before we start pushing things.
I will let you know how things progress … once they begin to progress…